Why does every response include a plug for your game?

Aren't there maybe better places, even here to plug your game?
I mean, there's a whole discussion category for it.


  • Didn't we talk about this recently, or am I imagining things?
  • edited January 2016
    Didn't we talk about this recently, or am I imagining things?
    Yes, we did. I was looking for the relevant thread earlier, but my Internet fu was weak. I'll try again now.

  • Goldfish... um... er... because we're starved for attention?
  • edited January 2016
    I think it's an incredibly major problem here, but only because no one understands the brilliant insights you'd get from my game.
  • edited January 2016
    I think it's an incredibly major problem here, but only because no one understands the brilliant insights you'd get from my game.
    Ah yeah, that was a good thread. But MY thread was way more interesting, witty and insightful.
  • I'll send you $10 if you can link a current discussion where no one has plugged their rpg.

    By current, I mean a month or so.

    It's killing any sense of joy I had of this place.
  • Oh yeah Eero, you've "talked" about it.
    You don't believe it exists.
    What's there to "talk" about if all you have to offer is disbelief?

  • edited January 2016
    Are you serious? The first three forum topics appearing right now don't have any "plugged" RPGs. (If I count this one; I suppose I could omit it - that still leaves two.)

    Is that worth 30$ (or at least 20$)? :)

    The next topic down has one (1) mention of a game, but, in my opinion, it's helpful - it's not a plug for the game, but a discussion of a technique in that game which is relevant to the topic. The person who started threat seems to have been very glad it was mentioned.

    The next topic after that does include a few links to games (because they are being discussed), but none seem to be being "plugged" (and only one is linked to by a person involved with the creation of that game). I can see you discounting this one, I suppose, but that would require a pretty powerful reinterpretation of the term "plugged".

    Further down, I see lots more threads which aren't about and don't include plugs for games (like every one of my recent topics, as well as every thread on the front page started by Ry).

    More importantly, though:

    This is a forum with the stated purpose of discussing and creating games. How would that work, exactly, if no one mentioned games or linked to them?

    I probably wouldn't find out about new games if I didn't come here and find links to them. I like learning about new games!

    I DO see a lot of games being mentioned and plugged, yes, but so many of the topics we currently have active on the forum are, "Hey guys, what game would you use to do this?" Is it wrong for someone to mention a game (or even, gasp, their own game) if that is precisely what is being asked for?

    I agree that perhaps we could use more content that's not specific to certain games. But that's on me and you and everyone: go ahead and start a topic that's not about that. I'm sure people will chime in!
  • edited January 2016
    @Paul_T Yeah, I thought he was joking at first! Reckon overexposure to the Internet has made him flip.
  • Speaking for myself, it might be that, since I'm immersed in the production of a game and supplements for it right now, it's difficult for me not to see the relevance when I read a relevant question, and it's equally difficult for me (in a gaming forum) to get very intensely involved in a conversation that's not relevant to said game.

    But the starved for attention theory works too.

  • RyRy
    edited January 2016
    Huh? Have I been plugging my game? I don't publish anything. Is this a Fight Club situation? I hope I'm the Tyler.
  • I don't have a game either but I often link to stuff of my own when relevant to the discussion. I do follow links to games showcased here a lot too and I'm actually grateful for that, since it often made me discover either a great game, some nice mechanics or at least a good example of how I should never do things (including self promotion)

    For me the great difference between... -ok, let's call it "good plugging" and "bad plugging" to be honest, cause it's still plugging- is that the bad one is just derailing the discussion, links me to something I have to pay for to find out what it is (I'd certainly prefer to find a review on that link instead of the site selling it and no further info about it), and/or the person posting it imposes her/his solution as the best thing ever.

    Also, "good plugging" is for me a way to say "my best answer for what you're asking for includes a lot of things in this game that showcase my entire design philosophy. Instead of explaining it here (cuz I'm too lazy for it, you would be bored to death and it will derail the thread) you can read it and experience it on your own, here"

    Anyway, it's not the first time we have discussed about this and though it has certainly made a lot of people over-conscientious about the subject (I was about to leave the forum when I saw this subject pressed on the last time), if it ticks anyone so much, how about we establish a code like the "Slow down" thing? In this case, the OP would have the option to ask "No game-plugging answers" on the thread, either at the start or later. Now, leaving it to the OP's choice doesn't mean nobody could ask for this if they feel there's too much plugging in the thread. One thing I love about SG is that here, signalling us that you're getting annoyed by something usually stops us from doing so, while imposing things (even when you're right) feeds the trolls and gets threads closed in no time.
  • edited January 2016
    Yes, I think a simple "avoid plugging games in this thread, please" would do 99% of the job, if a poster feels her thread might invited unwanted "plugging". I would happily obey such a request, myself.
  • I'll essentially echo what Paul and others have mentioned - most of us here are game designers (well at least, many) and try to mention our game(s) when relevant. I'm guilty of that myself in several cases. I've never been bothered by it though, I enjoy seeing what other designers post and recommend for a particular experience or whatever.
  • Nathan, how is this "killing any sense of joy I had of this place"?
  • I'm certainly "guilty" of plugging but I'd like to think only relevantly so. We're a pretty small hobby and this type of game is a small subset. As a publisher, this group and others like it represent an effective way to reach an audience in instances people are actively looking for your game.

    Looking at it another way though, there aren't many websites without paid ads on them. This is one. The odd plug for something you're interested in (you do like story-games, right!?) makes this like television with product placement for the things you like.
  • Well, that's something of a myth I think we should bust: how many people here actually buy any of the games being plugged around?

    I mean, most of us are designers, if we want a game we make it ourselves. It appears to be that most of you are friends who go to the same conventions (I'm in Peru and I haven't been able to go to any of the cons mentioned/plugged in the forum) so you're probably exchanging games there. Whenever I get really interested in a game I either help as a playtester or search for reviews, free downloads, alpha versions, etc.

    I think the only game I've seen here and bought was Tenra Bansho Zero, and even then, I just bought the PDF and hacked it instead of playing it as it is (though it's a wonderful game and maybe some day I'll try it as it is)

    So, how about we do some research to find out if people here are, more than the target audience, actually buyers of any the stuff plugged here?

    BTW, people plugging games, take note that there's an important amount of people here that will take your plugging so badly that they will probably end up influencing potential buyers away from your products.
  • edited January 2016
    With specific reference to a plug I made, someone was specifically looking for a game that emulated a Tarantino film. I wrote a game designed to emulate a Tarantino film.

    From that I gathered that, amongst other things, yes, people do come here to get ideas for games to buy.

    In a broader sense, I'd like to think we'd be supportive of each other's designs rather than always thinking "I can do better. I'll write my own version rather than supporting this person". I could be wrong and maybe this isn't the site I thought it was.
  • True this isn't the most lucrative place to stick a plug. But the plugs don't bother me. I have in fact bought several games that I learned of right here in these forums. I've also approached (or been approached by) other designers, made professional friendships, and worked together on their things or mine, due to plugs posted here.

    Something James once said sticks in my mind: we should remember that the direct participants in a thread are not the only beneficiaries of it. Thanks to search engines, people can find these threads and learn of these games long after the conversation has ended.

  • I don't have anything of my own to plug, so I'm probably not guilty of "plugging" anything more than the odd favorite product, but I ALSO haven't perceived anything like a glut of people plugging their games, and even when I do notice someone doing it, it's generally relevant to the discussion, not "oh, and by the way, check out my game!"

    So I'm not sure I perceive the problem, I guess. Admittedly, I don't read every thread, just the ones that sound interesting, but still.
  • edited January 2016
    Well, that's something of a myth I think we should bust: how many people here actually buy any of the games being plugged around?
    I've held to a system for the past few years, and I'm happy with it. Essentially, the only way I buy a game is when it fits 3 criteria:

    1. It is a game we are playing right now -- not three months from now, not "someday," but actually, honest-to-god currently playing as our weekly game. No more buying games because they "look interesting." My poor overloaded bookshelves have spoken, there is no more room for unplayed games.

    2. It is a game that has a sizable chunk of information in it (rules, etc.) that would be useful for me to have outside our weekly game session. If it's a rules-light game, I don't need a copy of my own.

    3. I can get it cheap. I know all the best used bookstores, and I'll shop there first. I've got my own ideas about what a game book would be worth to me, and if I can't pay that price (or lower), eh, I'll just do without. Having less stuff isn't going to hurt me.

    Basically, I've been killing the industry since the late '90s. You're welcome! ;)

    I don't care if people plug their games or not, though. A game that sounds interesting is still interesting, even though it's basically impossible for you to get any money out of me for it. As long as your game is actually relevant to the discussion you're plugging it in, we're cool.
  • So I sometimes/often talk about my games in threads, and my games aren't even availible in English. Thing is, I know my games very well, and they are basically my story game philosophy incarnate. So when talking about my thoughts on different things regarding story games, of course they're relevant, since they're what I think about story games. And they're also the games I know best, since I wrote them. I know all of the rules by heart and I know exactly why the rules do what they do.

    Not talking about my games in discussions would mean I spend less time talking about things I know a lot about and really believe in regarding story games.

    And I don't expect anyone to buy my games (which are free anyway).
  • edited January 2016
    It appears to be that most of you are friends who go to the same conventions
    We're all friends! You included!

    In all seriousness, I'm pretty sure you have the wrong idea. There are a lot of Americans here, sure, but from all different parts served by different cons. I think that 5 or so years ago there was a sizable NW U.S. contingent and a sizable NE U.S. contingent at S-G, but nowadays only like 2 or 3 of those people are still regulars here.
  • edited January 2016
    It's a bummer that Nathan's fun has taken a hit, but it sure sounds like he's in the minority.

    Don't worry too much, y'all. If you want to mention your Tarantino game in a Tarantino thread, the question isn't "whether", merely "how".

    I'm happy to hear as many words about your game as are relevant to the conversation it's introduced in. (And on that note, I'd recommend being forthcoming. I think it's pretty much proven that indie publishers make more sales by putting out free stuff than they lose, by miles and miles. If you don't want to describe your core mechanic or whatever, then that's your right, and you won't be the only one, but it's not necessary to keep secrets to sell books.)

    I don't think any of us have any idea how many people buy games that are mentioned or linked here. If I had to guess, I would guess that many people learn about games here, and talk about them elsewhere, and there's an outward ripple that results in sales at various steps of removal.
  • Thanks David, it's often hard to feel included when you're in Peru, surrounded by people who doesn't speak "roleplaying game design" and you have to write in a language different of your own to find people who do, thousands of kilometers away from you. And then they happen to measure that distance in miles instead... XD but you do make me feel included as well as a lot of other people here, thank you all.

    So, I'm a minority, Nathan is probably a minority and minority's rights often get the respect they deserve here in SG. So far we have the "avoid plugging games in this thread, please"; any other ideas?
  • Using a "spoiler" tag that will *by default* hide the plug, and make it visible only to those who are interested?

    (Of course it's up to the user to add that tag properly)

    As others trying to gather some audience for my games, I feel a bit sad when others are somehow offended or bothered by plugs. I try to keep mine to the minimum and only when really relevant (I think David Berg for example found my last plug indeed useful), but sometimes it's easy to cross a line even when you don't intend to...
    So I always have mixed feelings about mentioning my own game.

    I guess a "spoiler" tag that will *by default* hide the plug might be beneficial even to those of us who would like to mention the game, feel it would be appropriate, but then refrain from doing so for fear of going out of line...

    (As a side-effect, the spoiler tag would probably increase the number of plugs, but would keep them hidden)

  • edited January 2016
    I think that 5 or so years ago there was a sizable NW U.S. contingent and a sizable NE U.S. contingent at S-G, but nowadays only like 2 or 3 of those people are still regulars here.
    Back in 2009 or so, many, many threads were people discussing games they had played with each other (meaning, the people on story-games.com were people who actually gamed together). That doesn't seem to be the case now, or it's much rarer.

    [edited for quote fail]
  • edited January 2016
    I didn't intend to imply that minority opinions should be ignored, but I do think it'd be a shame if people stopped mentioning their games because it annoys a small number of users.

    I suspect we can have our cake and eat it too -- note that Nathan said "plugging," not "mentioning". Perhaps that's a good rule of thumb?
    When you mention your game here, ask yourself, "Is this just a plug?" If it is, then re-word it so it isn't just a plug.
    That could apply to everyone else's threads, and then of course you can plug to your heart's content in your own Directed Self-Promotion thread.

    I'm pretty sure this logic was already put forth in an earlier thread, but maybe turning it into a bolded sentence makes it more accessible?
  • Oh, my bad, I didn't intend to say that is being done in any way, because yes, it's perfectly viable to control plugging so it doesn't bother anyone. I approve the rule of thumb too.
  • edited January 2016
    Separately, @WarriorMonk, thanks for those points re: inclusion/outsiderdom. Just because the Americans here don't all know each other doesn't mean we have to deal with all the hurdles you do. Thanks for the reminders! Honestly, I am in awe of everyone who posts here when English isn't their first language.
  • Nathan comes to a lot of the conventions that I go to, and a lot of designers go to. That really can't be the issue.
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